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spanchat throughout the afternoon. here is a comment from steve. finally, from alan. -- ellen. you hear jimmy carter's speech bill clinton's's speech and more at 8:00 eastern. in a couple minutes, we open our phone lines and hear from you. we will take phone calls read
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more tweets and facebook comments. next, a portion from the middle of the day beginning with ben jealous, the chairman and ceo of the naacp. >> fire it up. come on, fire it up. fire it up. ladies and gentlemen, as we stand here 50 years after the march on washington, let us remember that dr. king's last march was never finished. the poor people's campaign was never finished. some 50 years after the march on washington, while if you were -- you are people as a percentage in our country are poor, more as a number in our country are poor.
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while the ladder of opportunity extends to the heavens for our people today, more are tethered at the bottom and falling off everyday. say that thean distance between a child's aspirations represented by the top of that letter and a family situation at the bottom of that is the exactder measurement of that aaron's level of frustration. as we go home today, let us remember that the dreamer was also a doer. as we turn on our tvs tomorrow and see people walking out of places where they are being forced to survive on $7.25 by the thousands, let us commit to join them in fighting to lift up the bottom. at the top of that letter has extended, the tethers at the bottom must be unleashed.
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let us not just be dreamers. let us recommit to be doers. thank you, and god bless. [applause] >> from destiny church new zealand, pre-'s welcome -- please welcome a performance. ♪ [shouting]
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[tribal chanting] [tribal chanting]
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[tribal chanting]
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[applause] >> civil rights leader reverend joseph lowery.
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[applause] >> thank you very much. fire it up. i can hear you. fire it up. now, i hear you. thank you. nationankful today for a committed 50 years is to be a nation of liberty and justice for all. truths -- in the deepest reverence, the
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principles of freedom and justice for all. that we have today whatsident who understands martin luther king meant when he said, we must rise up from the basement of race and color to the higher ground of content of character. i am glad we have a president who joins with martin luther king in calling upon this nation to rise up and leave the basement of race and color and come to the higher ground of content of character. for a nationayer that is strangely enough
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continuing to seek to deny rights and restrict read him -- freedom and the right to vote. later, it isyears even stranger that there are men and forces who still seek to restrict our vote and deny our full participation. washingtonme here to to say, we ain't going back. we ain't going back. we have come too far. prayed to hardg, , wept too utterly, bled too profusely, and died too young to let anybody turn back the clock on our turning to justice. [applause]
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the for the -- thank you for the privilege of sharing these moments with you. i see a man walking out on the stage signaling my time is up. god bless you and god keep you, hang in there. fire it up. fire it up. ready to go. god bless you. [applause] >> dr. king's and dream was for a future where everyone was free to prosper and live in harmony. joining us now, too champions -- two champions. the executive director director of the gay lesbian and straight network.
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>> as we stand here today united on this historic anniversary, i am reflecting on the courage that thousands of people showed by putting their lives and the lives of their families and harm's way as they fought for civil and human rights. i am thankful to my friends, reverend after bernie scanning and the -- bernice king and the king family for inviting me here. i am thankful to them for continuing on that rocky path to freedom and justice for all in the united states and around the world. i am not only here to commemorate this auspicious occasion, but to speak about another form of injustice. we are degrading the lives of our children and the health of our planet. no one knows this better than my congressman, reverend john
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lewis. he is not only a fierce civil rights activist, but he is also a staunch environmental champion. he has said that the environmental movement is an extension of civil and human rights, and that is because the childrenthese and everywhere are the most impacted and adversely impacted, disproportionally impacted. in a world justice where powerful people and theorations can affect lives of every man, woman and child. our children cannot prosper if we continue to destroy the natural systems that support all
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of our lives. our children cannot prosper and they are sick and from -- ackened from exposure to toxic cocktail of chemicals that are unregulated and untested in the air they breathe, the water they drink, the food they eat, and the product they use. our children and their children cannot prosper when they face a future of record temperatures, .ising seas and extreme weather unless we work together, we will be handing our children problems that they cannot solve. time is running out. we have a moral mandate to protect and to preserve our children's health, quality of life and their future. we have a moral mandate to be the stewards of all the
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blessings god has given to us. think about it. millions of people around the world will be ringing their bells. i say, let's wring our bells for clean water, clean air, healthy children, environmental justice and freedom. [applause] >> 50 years ago, bayard rustin stood on this stage, resetting the demands of the march on washington. a movement spoke through him but the world would not embrace him because he was gay. voices are welcome to this stage. president obama has awarded bayard rustin the presidential medal of freedom. [applause] but, we have not yet seen dr.
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king's great opportunity thrown open to everyone. we have so far to go before a truly great education is offered to every child. we are partners in this fight. we fight for millions of lgbt students and all those seen as different. they deserve a welcoming audience for their dreams and they deserve to be embraced for who they are. yet everyday our youth endure the silence imposed by violence and fear. some have been silenced forever. we raise our voices in their memory.
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carl joseph walker hoover, lawrence king. rustin was a quaker. he looked for the voice of the divine that can speed through everyone of us. across this nation, voices are ready to rise for opportunity and justice and freedom for every young person, no matter who they are, what they look like or who they love. listen for those voices. lift them up so they can be heard. when we do that, we shall all rise. thank you for the great honor of standing with you today. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, five-
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time nba most valuable fire, bill russell -- most valuable player, bill russell. [applause] afternoon. it is nice to be here. i was sitting in the first row 50 years ago. it is nice to be anywhere 50 years later. [laughter] 50 years ago, the night before and itch i met dr. king was one of the great experiences of my life. he invited me to be up here and i respectfully declined because the organizers had worked for together and iis
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hadn't done anything. so i wanted to continue my life an interested bystander. about, i have heard a lot how far we have come in 50 years . from my point of view, the only progress -- you only measure progress by how far you have to go. i am here to join you and to implore you, the fight has just begun.
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never accept the status quo until the word progress is taken out of our vocabulary. and so i thank you for being , youngd encourage you and old, men and women to understand that progress can only be measured by how far we have to go. you fornt to thank letting me speak to you and to encourage you, as we used to say in the projects, keep on keeping on. thank you. [applause]
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>> dr. martin luther king believed in the power of organized labor to help fight dirty. -- poverty. the labor movement, dr. king said was the principal force that transformed misery and despair into hope and progress. please welcome two diehard champions of american workers, clayola brown, the president of the a philip randolph institute, and lee saunders the president of the afl-cio. a philip randolph's opening remarks were, we hear today are only the first wave. when we leave, it will be to carry on the civil rights revolution back home into every nut and every cranny of this land.
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hello, freedom family. i am clay all-around -- clayola brown. here we are 50 years later, the second wave standing ready to carry on the revolution, standing ready to fight for jobs and for freedom, standing ready to advance the struggle for shared prosperity and equality for all of god's children. this is our charge. dr. king said, human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable. every step towards the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering and struggle. i know you have heard it before, but i am going to say it again because it comes from our founder, a philip randolph. at the banquet table of nature, there are no reserved seats. you get what you can take and
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youp what you can hold. if you can't take anything, you won't get anything. if you can't hold anything, you won't keep anything. you can't take anything without organization. we must organize. we must organize. we must organize. [applause] >> good afternoon. i am so proud to represent the 1.6 million members of the american federation of state county and inducible employees. -- municipal employees. their labor touches communities throughout the nation. 1963od with dr. king in when he called on america to be true to its principles. five years later, dr. king stood
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without me in the sanitation workers of local 1733 demanded justice, dignity and respect. the journey for civil rights, workers rights and economic rights began almost in the moment america was born. it gained new momentum on these steps 50 years ago. it advances whenever the disenfranchised and disillusioned standup, fight back and march forward. because our struggle continues, we come to this but mario not only to commemorate -- this memorial, not only to commemorate the past, but to shape the future. we have a power to carry determination, hope and passion of the march on washington forward. we must also have the courage. when must also have the courage. in the name of dr. king, a philip randolph, bayard
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rustin, john lewis. on behalf of those whose names will never be known. we must recommit to the struggle as stewards of a nation that belongs to the rich and the poor , to the ceo and the sanitation worker, those with and those without. we have the responsibility to build on a legacy that has been left to us all. we must protect the most fundamental rights we have, the right to vote. we must ensure that workers voices will never be silenced. we must fight for good jobs and decent pay. we must become a just and fair society of our ideals. above all, above all, we must uphold the principle that everyone who contributes to the prosperity of this nation should
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share in the prosperity of this nation. thank you. [applause] >> please welcome the u.s. representative from maryland, the honorable donna edwards. [applause] >> on behalf of the members of congress, i represent maryland's fourth congressional district. americanirst african- woman to represent maryland in the house of representatives and behalf of my sisters in congress, i am proud to stand on the shoulders of courageous women and so many others. i am proud to stand on the shoulders of our domestic workers and to be wrapped in the arms of little girls and a birmingham church and a chicago teenager on vacation. it is a new day, 50 years later and a better day. the day is not over. today's struggle for civil rights, social justice and
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economic opportunity demands our engagement and our voice. to realize fully the dream, we must both raise our voices and take action. we must lift our voices to challenge government in our community and our neighbors to be better. we must lift our voices for wages that enable families to take care of themselves. for a health-care system that embraces -- erases disparities. for clean air and water to protect our environment. for a just justice system. we must let our voice for the value of our votes and have our votes counted without interference. as we stand here today, dr. king myld know and meister -- dear colleague john lewis does know, today is not just a commemoration or celebration. it is a call to action for the work that remains undone and the communities that remain unchanged. our foremothers and for others closed the book on the last century.
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when the book closes on the 21st century and civil rights, which chapter will you have written? what fight will you have fought in the halls of congress or on the town halls of your community? for men and women, black and white, latino and asian, gay and straight, i hope this book includes you. we need you to act. the final chapter must include your voice to achieve dr. king's dream. they cannot be written without you. [applause] ceo.ease welcome the >> 50 years ago, a rabbi shared these steps with dr. king and began his remarks by saying, i speak to you as an american jew. my name is alan and i speak to you today as an american you -- jew.
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i represent the jewish civil rights group and more than 30 organizations that collectively jewish the jew is -- social justice roundtable. the vision dr. king offered us 50 years ago wasn't only a dream. it was a call for equality but also a demand for justice. we may be closer to legally quality -- legal equality, but we are far from justice. we are far from justice when young black men can be stopped, frisked and disrespected on the streets of new york city. we are far from justice when students carry the burden of loans. we are far from justice when 11 million immigrants work every single day without protection and a pathway to citizenship. we are far from justice when a gay, lesbian or transgender
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person can be fired from their job simply because of who they are. we are far from justice when we accept the fact that the rich are getting richer and the poor keep getting poorer and when we go to bed each night, allowing any american child to go to bed hungry. yes, the moral arc of the universe is long and it does in fact bend towards justice, but it doesn't bend on its own. it ends because of people like bayard rustin and andrew goodman. it bends because of you and me. we make the arc and and for many of us, it is not bending fast enough. every year, we recall how moses led his people out of slavery into the promised land, but the desert came first. jews to leave the only way to
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the promised land it through the desert. there is no way to get from here to there without marching and organizing together. as i look out on the small with people so diverse, so passion, so bonded together by shared values, i have hope today that that then fact know edge of our desert is near and that the promised land is in sight. [applause] >> how is everybody doing out there? we are not going to let the rain stop us. in communities all across the nation, there are evil who are suffering and in need. dr. king once said, life is the most persistent question and urgent question, is what are you doing for others? joining us now, two advocates of civil engagement. welcome the chair of the national council of negro women
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and a great brother who happens to be the general president of the greatest fraternity in the world, a fraternity that has members such as jenny -- jesse allens, thurgood marshall, dr. martin luther king jr. of alphaman, president phi alphia fraternity. afternoon. the national council of negro was very by dorothy much involved in the historic march on washington. it is an honor for me to be here to represent the thousands of affiliates and all the other woman who participated in that march.
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there worked closely with the big six. that was the day that dr. king told us of his big dream for his children and for all of our children. what we can be sure of is that dr. king was focused on the nation's foundations, our quest .o form a more perfect union at our birth, america was a nation of people actively involved in creating a place of freedom and democracy. the principles expressed in the preamble, those simple but powerful words are the same theciples which undergird quest for civil, human and gender rights. america is distinguished by its commitment to democracy, democracy whose core ingredients include justice, peace, well-
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being, equality. our quest for a perfect model of more perfectat union if you will, continues. our personal civic responsibility and engagement will determine how well our democracy will work, so we come together today just as was done 50 years ago to remind us of the need to be fully aware of and actively engaged in, our communities and our government and every level. remember, the children of the 60s movement led us to today and are our leaders today. i am sure that the have seen and will hear from the children who will be the leaders of tomorrow. thank you. [applause]
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>> good afternoon. and quiteed, humbled frankly, awestruck to be standing on sacred soil where 50 years ago, people came on buses, by cars, and some even walked to be part of this historic event. with a unity unseen before in the fight for civil rights. on this day, we are progressing with a mandate that was so eloquently set for america. we are wrapped in the legacy of great individuals that recognized we cannot afford generations becoming ill prepared to rise above individual concerns. ill-prepared to live with understanding and goodwill. groundning of stand your does not get you buried under the ground.
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here to honor the man that anchored to this movement, who dared to dream the rights of all men and women are equal. practices thatld were discriminatory and inhumane, and who mobilized a nation to believe that actions would eventually bring a better life. dr. martin luther king jr. was a proud member of alpha phi alpha fraternity. we are proud to have led the initiative to build a memorial in his honor. on this historic occasion, we honor my fraternity brother who stands in the nations capital on hallowed ground with presidents of this country, forever remaining watchful and guarding the halls of democracy. commemorating the march on washington for jobs and freedom underscores our collective strength, influence and unity.
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america may have progressed with the election of a black president, and may soon follow with the election of a female president, but we must not be distracted by the birding realization -- burning realization that our journey is still challenging and that race and class still have a great distance to go. all of us are the beneficiaries of a legacy to show our children make an dream with confidence in realizing their most ambitious hopes and aspirations. let's continue to march for their freedom. thank you. [applause] gentlemen,nd dolores. [applause] >> we are being blessed with rain. we are here to celebrate all of
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the wonderful benefits that we received from the civil rights movement. we honor the sacrifice of those that gave their lives so we can have these benefits. we want to honor caretta scott king for all of the work that she did to get that martin luther king holiday, the national holiday. we want to under yolanda king -- honor yolanda king for all she did on behalf of women and children. dr. king said, on this very stage, go back to your communities. go back to the south, the back to the north, and also to the west. we have to continue to organize that dream. you know what, if we don't do it, it is not going to happen. the only way that discrimination -- against women, against the lgbt community, is
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if we cut -- we do it. we have to mobilize. we have to motivate them. that is the only way it can happen. i'm going to ask you, who has got the power? let's say it loud and clear. we have got the power. who's got the power? >> we have got the power. >> what kind of power? >> evil power. >> all right. -- people power. >> all right. put your hands up everybody. we are going to clap together and in spanish, we are going to puede. se which means yes we can.
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[no audio] welcome leann amazing grace, how sweet the sound etch like med a wr ♪ lost but now i am found ♪ ♪ i was blind but now i see to sing our praise ♪
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grace, oh how sweet saved ad ♪ that wretch like me ♪
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lost but now i am found ♪ now i see ♪ but [applause] >> one more time for leann rimes. [applause] >> we have made considerable progress in the last 50 years but many of the problems that plagued our communities back then still challenge us today. here to tell us where we go from here is a man who i have a great
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deal of respect for, the president and ceo of the national urban league, marc mor ial . >> good afternoon, fellow americans. i stand today on the shoulders of martin luther king, whitney young, john lewis, a philip randolph and the many great leaders of 1963 who sacrificed, who marched, who demonstrated courage and bravery in the face of attack so that we can be here today. as a representative of the next generation that has had the opportunity to walk into
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boardrooms, walk into city hall's and county halls, into halls of justice, into the justice department and yes, into 1600 pennsylvania avenue solely because of the sacrifices and bravery of those whose names we remember and those we don't. i stand here today to call on this great and mighty nation to wake up. wake up to unfair legality parading as morality. wake up to insensitivity to the poor mass masked as fiscal austerity. wake up to politics without a positive purpose. it is time, america, to wake up. 50 years ago, that sleeping giant was awakened. somewhere along the way, we dozed.
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we have been quelled by the lullaby of false prosperity and economic -- mirage of equality. somewhere along the way, white sheets were traded for button- down white shirts. attack dogs and water hoses were traded for lasers and -- tazers and stop and frisk policies. nooses were traded for handcuffs. somewhere along the way, we gained new enemies, complacency. murders from urban america to suburban america, the pursuit of power for power's sake. we stand here today to say it is time to wake up. here in 2013, we stand before the statue of the great emancipator. we look towards the statue of the great liberator. we say, we have come to wake up
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a new civil rights movement for economic justice, a new civil rights movement for freedom in these days, a new civil rights movement for jobs, a new civil rights movement for men, or women, or children of all backgrounds, all races, all dispositions, all orientations, all cities, all counties, all towns, all across america. america, it is time for us to wake up. the 21st century agenda for jobs and freedom comes alive today. we stand on the shoulders of the great men and women of yesterday this newe -- we affirm commitment for today and tomorrow. god bless you. god thank you. god bless this great nation. [applause] >> good afternoon. i am marcia fudge, the chair of
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the congressional black caucus. [applause] i am the chair of the congressional black caucus because dr. martin luther king acted upon his dream. dr. king was not just a dreamer but the voice of a movement. in 1963, there were five members of the congressional black caucus. today, there are 43 african- american members in congress. dr. king dreamed of and america where every individual, no matter their race, nationality or socioeconomic background, would have the opportunity to achieve dreams of their own. his dream was a call to action. dr. king advocated for an america where everyone would be afforded their inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. a nation where there would be equal protection under the law, and a country where every
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person's right to vote is protected. he dreamed of an america where every child has access to quality schools and an education that prepares them for their future. he dreamed that we as a nation would walk together on the swift path towards justice. now, it is up to us. the congress of the united dates of america, to work together, to pass a jobs bill that ensures decent jobs for all of our citizens. now it is up to us to ensure that we have a terminal justice system that does not value one life more than another. now, it is up to us to make sure that no child goes hungry to school or to bed. in dr. king's words, we cannot and we must not be satisfied with anything less. it is our time to make dr. king's dream our reality. dr. king said that 1963 was not an end but a new beginning.
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let us make today the start of a new chapter in the history of this country. let us march forward towards justice together. thank you. [applause] >> brothers and sisters, the members of the service employees international union are proud to join the freedom fighters across this country in insisting on the three freedoms that are on the back of your program. in the spirit of the civil rights economic leadership whose shoulders we stand on, i want you to join me and repeating the pledges of the freedoms we are committing ourselves here today. the freedom to participate in government, the freedom to prosper in life, the freedom to
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peacefully coexist. our members are proud to join with working people, faith leaders, community leaders all across this country in joining our hands and a renewed commitment to bending the ark towards justice. continuing the struggle to achieve racial equality and economic equality for all i delivering on the promise of the affordable care act, by insisting that we prevail in commonsense immigration from -- reform and by joining together to create good jobs by supporting workers across the country who have the guts to andd up, join together demand a living wage from their employers. the fight continues. we want to work for a just society where all work is valued
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, every human being is respected , where every family and community can thrive, and where we join together in pursuing the freedom to have a better and more equal society for the next generation. thank you. [applause] >> please welcome actor and singer jamie foxx. [applause] >> make some noise for 50 years. let's make some noise. i don't have much time. i am here to celebrate what dr. king did 50 years. i am probably not going to read from the teleprompter because i am going to eat from my heart. i am going to tell you right now that everybody my age and all the entertainers, it is time for us to stand up and renew this dream. that is what we got to do. i was affected by the trayvon martin situation. i was affected by newtown.
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i was affected by sandy hook. it is time for us to pick up. harry belafonte saw me at the image awards and asked me, what am i willing to do? he took it a step further. we went to dinner. my 19-year-old daughter, i said listen, if you want to get inspired, come listen to this man speak. belafonte,with mr. he asked my daughter, how old are you? [laughter] my daughter said, 19. i said, mr. belafonte, what were you doing at 19? he said, i was coming home from world war ii. when i get back to america, i wasn't allowed to vote. so, i love my country, i love america, but i realized that i had more work to do. myself, al, jesse and martin, we marched. i said, wait a minute. you sound like you're naming a boy band group. who are these guys? he looked at my daughter and said, martin luther king, have
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you heard of him? we sat down and cried. what we need to do now, the young folks, pick it up now so that when we are 87 years old talking to the other young folks, we can say, it was made, , aliciath, jay-z, kanye keys. the list goes on and on. don't make me start preaching up here. last but not least, i have to recognize mr. berry gordy. not only did harry belafonte l murton with working out of jail so that he -- bail martin luther king out of jail so that he could march, he also paid corunna scott king's hills. they are telling me to get out of here. we have to salute mr. berry gordy. he put dr. king's speech on an album and put it out on motown records and after he did that, he turned around and gave those
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reels and tapes back to the king family. thank you so much. do not forget, 50 years. i am out. [applause] >> jamie foxx, ladies and gentlemen. please help me welcome one of man who needss, a no introduction, a man whose going to fire us up, a man who is the president of the national action network, the reverend al sharpton. [applause] ago, when they came to washington, it was not for an event. it was in the middle of struggles.
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it was in the middle of battles to break down the walls of apartheid in america. dr. king and those that fought with him, they thought and they beat jim crow. we come today to not only celebrate and commemorate, but we come as children of dr. king to say that we are going to face jim crow's children because jim crow had a son called james roe junior -- james crowe junior esquire. he writes voting suppression laws. he puts it in language that looks different, but the results are the same. they come with laws that tell people to stand their ground. they come with laws that tell people to stop and frisk, but i come to tell you just like our mothers and fathers beat jim
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crow, we will beat james crowe junior esquire. [applause] they call the generation of dr. king the moses generation and those out here now joshua. if joshua does not fight, they are not really joshua. and the dreamg cross the red sea of apartheid and segregation. we have to cross the jordan of unequal economic. we have to cross the jordan of on -- continued discrimination and mass incarceration. we have got to keep on fighting and we have got to vindicate and stand up and substantiate that the dream was not for one generation. the dream goes on until the dream is achieved.
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lastly, we made it this far. not because of what we had in our pockets, but what we had in our hearts. not because of what we owned, but because of who owned us. we thank a mighty god for giving us a martin luther king. we thank a mighty god that brought us along way. he brought us from disgrace to amazing grace. he brought us to the president. he brought us from beulah to oprah. he brought us a mighty long way and we thank god for the dream and we are going to keep on fighting until the dream is a reality. thank you and god bless. [applause] gentlemen, please welcome randy weingarten.
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>> ladies and gentlemen, sisters and brothers, i am the president of the 1.5 million member american federation of teachers. king,e come so far, rustin, evers, chavez and so many others who have summoned our nation to confront a malignancy of discrimination. many of our afflictions have been held -- healed, but we have far to go. the supreme court has turned its back on voter suppression. many will once again be denied the right to vote. children born today will stay poor. millions of americans work hard every day but can't earn a living wage or exercise their right to bargain. public schools where kids need the most often get the least. discrimination based on the color of your skin or the person you love may not be legal in many arenas, but is still
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lethal. leaders 50 years ago understood that the struggle for civil rights and racial equality is a struggle for good jobs and decent wages. they understood as we do today that public education is an economic necessity and anchor of democracy and a fundamental right. we celebrate today that we have become a country that believes in equality and we recommit ourselves to be a country that acts on that belief. that starts with reclaiming the promise of health -- public education. fulfillneed it to be to our collective responsibility to all god's children. a great nation and sure is that every neighborhood of looks cool is a good -- public school is a good school. honors the rights of workers.
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it takes its immigrants out of the shadows and makes -- a great nation is one that acts to left us towards opportunity and justice. the king family has brought us the king family has brought us together these five days not simply to reflect but to act and we will act to keep the dream alive, thank you. [applause] >> please welcome julian bond. [applause] >> this is a special way and that special place for all of us. not only do we pay homage to those who gathered here 50 years ago to tell the nation that they too were americans, we also celebrate the 150th anniversary of abraham lincoln plus gettysburg address and the emancipation proclamation.
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this is personal for me. like many of you, i was privileged to be here 50 years ago. like many of you, i am the grandson of a slave. my grandfather and his mother were property like a horse or a chair. as a young girl, she had been given away as a wedding present to a new bride and when that bride became pregnant, her husband, my great-grandmother's owner and master, exercised his right to take his wife's slaves as his mistress. that union produced two children, one of them my grandfather. at age 15, barely able to read or write, he pitched his tuition to a steer and walked across kentucky to college and the college let him in. he belonged to a transcendent generation of black americans, a generation born in slavery in the freed by the civil war, determined to make their way as free women and men. martin luther king belonged to a transcendent generation of black
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americans, a generation born in segregation, determined to make their way as free women and men. when my grandfather graduated from berea, the college asked him to deliver the commencement address and he said then -- the pessimist from his corner looks out from a corner and blinded by all that is good or hopeful and the condition and progress of the human race, the present state of affairs and projects woeful things for the future. in every cloud, he beholds a disruptive storm and every flash of lightning, an omen of evil, and every show that falls across his path, a lurking foe. but he forgets that the clouds also bring life and hope, that the lightning. that shadow and darkness prepare for sunshine and growth and that hardships and adversity nerve the race as the individuals for greater efforts and grander victories. we are still being tested by hardships and adversity from the elevation of stand your ground laws to the evisceration of the
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voting rights act. we commit ourselves as we did 50 years ago to greater efforts and grander victories, thank you. [applause] >> and now, singer and songwriter -- [applause] ♪ >> come on, everybody. we've been praying about this rain and i believe that god gives it to us. ♪ ♪ ♪ how i got over how i made it over. ♪ my soul how i got over i made it over
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♪ ♪ ♪ when i get the glory, i'm going to tell the story. when i get the glory, i'm going to say hallelujah.
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♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ i'm going to sing and shout ♪ about how i got over. how i got over.
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i made it over. ♪ how i got over i made it over ♪ thank you, lord. thank you. thank you, lord. everybody here, thank the lord. he's been kind. ♪ thank you, lord. thank you, lord. can i hear you say thank you, lord. thank you. thank you, lord. thank you.
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thank you, lord. i'm going to say -- ♪ ♪ [applause] ♪ thank you, jesus. i want to thank you. thank you, lord. thank you. ♪ ♪
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[applause] >> in 1963, my father, lyndon johnson, a passionate believer in equality, spoke these words 100 years ago, the slaves were freed.
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100 years later, the negro remains in bondage to the color of his skin. the negro today asks justice. we don't answer him. we don't answer those who live in it the soil. we reply to the negro by asking. i was there with him at gettysburg when he spoke on memorial day 1963 at the 100th anniversary of the civil war. he was vice president at that time and it was three months before the historical march on washington that we commemorate today. at a superficial glance, my father, the grandson of a confederate soldier, may not have seemed the most obvious ally to the movement. a white senator from jim crow south, he was no young idealist fresh out of college nor was racial equality a pressing goal of the majority of his texas constituents.
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rather the opposite. as a teacher, he had seen the plight of his mexican-american students and dr. king's powerful dream found a kindred spirit and my father who cared deeply about fairness and equality. when the tragedy of president kennedy's assassination propelled him to the presidency, he used every power at his disposal including his considerable legislative muscle to push through the civil rights act of 1964 - [applause] the voting rights act of 1965 -- [applause] and the fair housing act of 1968. [applause] signing the third civil rights bill, he wrote --
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i do not exaggerate when i say that the proudest moment of my presidency have been times such as this when i have signed into law the promises of the century. recently, the supreme court struck down part of the voting rights act which did so much to combat voting inequality in our country. now, 50 years later, there are still many examples of current events on how much farther we have yet to go to achieve that promise of a colorblind america. remember, too, that fairness and equality are powerful ideas that resonate with all americans and with a message as inspiring and timeless as the dream of dr. king. it will be unexpected allies if only we look for them. you know what his wife said? caretta scott king said freedom
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is never really won, you earn it. and win it in every generation. and she was right. let's go forth like jamie foxx says, thank you. >> please welcome caroline kennedy. [applause] >> thank you, linda johnson robb. good afternoon. 50 years ago, my father watched from the white house as dr. king and thousands of others recommitted america to our highest ideals. over the preceding months, president kennedy had put the full force of the federal government on the side of the movement calling on all americans to recognize that we
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faced a moral crisis as old as the scriptures and as clear as the american constitution. his brothers, my uncles bobby and teddy, my aunt eunice, continued his commitment, working to expand the promises made here to others suffering from discrimination and exclusion. a few months ago, after the trade on margin verdict was handed down and the supreme court if this are rated the voting rights act, president obama did the same, reminding us all that despite our remarkable progress, each generation must rededicate itself to the unfinished work of building a free and just america. 50 years ago, our parents and grandparents marched for jobs and freedom. we have suffered and sacrificed too much to let their dream become a memory. the children that are failing schools are all of our children.
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the victims of hate crimes and gun violence are our brothers and sisters. in the words of an old japanese proverb -- the water flows on, but the river remains. now it is our turn to live up to our parents dream, to draw renewed strength from what happened here 50 years ago and work together for a better world. thank you. [applause] >> please welcome actor and unicef goodwill ambassador, forest whitaker. [applause] >> it's a great honor to be here on the 50th anniversary of dr. king's march on washington. it's very humbling to be allowed to connect with you in this way. each of you came here with individual goals and intentions which at first glance may seem separate and exclusive. but we all share a common bond.
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your presence here today says you care and want to bring more peace, love, and harmony to the world. together, we must embrace this as goodwill ambassador for peace here and abroad, i have observed revolutions in social change firsthand, i have seen youth senselessly killed, people struggling for food, for a decent home, education, and justice. i am often reminded of the marches and decisions we experienced here during the 60s. i remember the words of dr. martin luther king which were -- i have decided to stick with love. hate is too great a burden to bear. [applause]
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we have all seen images from those days of the civil rights movement. pictures of segregated water fountains, public waiting rooms, movie theaters and in those amazing photos, i have always been drawn to the men, women, and children who are the silent heroes. many remain nameless but the heroic faces captured the portraits of the past to remind us of their sacrifice. they've risked their lives working tirelessly to bring about change. today, i want to celebrate those nameless individuals as we reflect on the last 50 years. in doing so, i want you to recognize the hero that exists inside yourselves. to understand that every step you take around an unknown corner marks your bravery. when we overcome life's hurdles, when we face and conquer our fears, when we help others
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become their better selves, we are committing small acts of heroism. if i were to take a picture of this crowd right now, people would see some of your faces in the movements that are starting today. this is your moment to join those silent heroes of the past. individuals who stood in the very spot where you stand today. you now have the responsibility to carry the torch as we gather here at the foot of the lincoln memorial as hundreds of thousands did on this day 50 years ago. i remain encouraged and inspired. let's be the generation to make a true difference in the world, let's create meaningful change, change that we can all believe in and share in. my mother always told me -- you don't have to believe in the
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things i believe but you have to believe in something. search, search to find the thing you believe in, the thing you believe will help mankind and then act upon it, like so many of the silent heroes and her whims of the movement. each of us can spark change by working to strengthen our communities and to shape our common destiny. as the bell rings today, my dream is that something will resonate inside you and me that will remind us each of our common bond. i would like to leave you with these words by dr. king -- whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. [applause]
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may god bless you. make you remain connected in love, thank you. >> the 50th anniversary of the march for freedom, 1963. we are going to open up our phone lines and get your thoughts on what you have seen today for the next 10 or 15 minutes. coming up this evening at 8:00, we will show the entire day from start to finish. for those of you in eastern and central time zones, these are the numbers. mountain and pacific, these are the numbers. we have been posting videos throughout the day on facebook.
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some tweets coming up. arizona, welcome. new george television or radio so you do not get feedback. your television or radio so you do not get feedback. amazing to be able to speak to a fine gentleman on a day 50 years to the date of the march that means so much to us. i am an african american woman. i take this to heart that i can speak and say thank you from and seees on reach out the beautiful oprah winfrey and caroline and everybody gathered
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together. i just wanted to say thank you. >> let's hear from new jersey. >> hello, how are you doing? >> you need to make sure you mute your television or radio. i was really inspired by all of the speakers. the fight will have to be in washington also because there are members of congress who --ll want to downgrade >> it is a little noisy in the background. try to call from a quieter location. chicago is next up. you, c-span,thank
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and everyone who was working for bringing this to us in chicago, illinois. >> that is all you want to say? >> i am enjoying it. i just wanted to say thank you to c-span. john lewis, we will show you his speech in just a moment. blog, this is an updated version of a story that was posted earlier. john boehner and eric cantor were invited to speak at the 50th anniversary of the historic march on washington, but declined. ohio republican was invited, but spoke of the congressional ceremony instead.
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eric cantor was asked 12 days ago to participate. the virginia republican is traveling in north dakota and ohio. calls,o back to lymington, indiana. >> -- bloomington, indiana. >> thank you for a ring this. this is wonderful -- for airing this. i was really impressed that he presents a great challenge to young african-americans and those people in hollywood that we look up to so much. -- offering hollywood a chance to get on board.
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i think that was prolific and very moving. some of that really touched me. i am hoping he takes up that -- garland like harry belafonte did. >> let's go to las vegas. damon is next. i enjoyed your program. i cried through the whole program. i am a 47-year-old african- american male. work. difficulty finding thepresident mentioned private business owner that would help a person that has a felony. it broke my heart. that, i felt so touched. it seemed like he was speaking directly to me. i have been homeless for most of
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my life because i have been struggling with a lot of issues. has been a struggle and i really appreciate people like that that are willing to help me out. >> let's check a couple of tweets. i have a dream that those who will speak up,y speak out and motivate. what a joy to hear them sing again. the invisible signs that keep any quality alive and well, the words of john lewis. we will show that to you momentarily. i am from detroit. i lost my parents at an early
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age. brother.raise a i was able to go to school and i graduated out of high school at 16. i was able to get an associates degree. i found work at a hospital. our kids need be education. 54 next i have been sick all my life. my family came from tennessee. they always fought.
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>> vivian, what stood out today? what speech or comment? >> what did you say? >> diane black, ok? i am black, ok? they did not want us to take welfare. they taught us to be independent. you calling ine and sharing your story. to facebook, you can see a lot of the video on facebook. here is a comment. w bush and george w. bush declined to participate because they have health issues. george w. bush did release a statement earlier today that read --
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the statement from former president george w. bush, who recently had some heart treatment. let's go to mississippi. laura from ocean springs, mississippi. i am 45 years old. when barack obama talked about education. they discussed how blacks and whites could not go to the same school. thes a graduate from university of south alabama. i was able to graduate from there with a bachelors. >> what did you get your degree
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in? >> i got my degree in exercise science. work on atrying to masters, but i have been sick. i will have surgery in september. i will try to finish up with a masters in education. >> good luck to you, thank you for joining us. florida, next up. >> how are you doing? listen, i wanted to commend you guys and congratulate you for an awesome broadcast. such a remarkable speech by such a remarkable character. encourage.mber to some of the members of congress commenting about the
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days activities. here here is senator casey from pennsylvania. this is kay granger of texas. what dreams do you have for your country? the culmination of a movement that began here in montgomery 50 years before. here is california, good evening, stephen. want to thank you guys for putting us on the art today. i am a young black african- american. can you hear me? >> you are on the air. lack african-g american man. i went through some difficulties
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in life, but i own my own home and i work hard. i want to thank everybody for coming together these 50 years. i lost two nephews in san diego, california, to a drive-by shooting. 50 years after martin luther king speech, let's stop killing each other. let's get together and love one another. thank you. i wish we would have had a apublican president give speech. thank you very much for c-span. >> we appreciate your calls. there is a discussion going on online. we open up our phones every morning at 7:00 on "washington journal."
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coming up tonight at 8:00, we will re-air the entire program today. lewis.up, john this segment wraps up with president barack obama. [applause]
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♪ ["national anthem"]
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and the rockets' red glare the bombs bursting in air gave proof through the night that our flag was still there o say does that star-spangled banner yet wave o'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave ♪
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[applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, john lewis. >> president and mrs. obama, president clinton, president carter, i want to think bernice king, the king family and the national park service for inviting me here to speak today. when i look out over this
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diverse crowd and survey the guests on this platform, it seems to realize what otis redding was singing about and what martin luther king was preaching this has been a long time coming but a change has come. we are standing here in the shadow of abraham lincoln 150 years after he issued the emancipation proclamation, and only 50 years after the historic march on washington for jobs and freedom. we have come a great distance in this country in the 50 years, but we still have a great distance to go before we fulfill the dream of martin luther king.
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sometimes i hear people saying nothing has changed, but for someone to grow up the way i grew up in the cotton fields of alabama to now be serving in the united states congress makes me want to tell them come and walk in my shoes. come walk in the shoes of those who were attacked by police dogs, by hoses and night sticks, arrested and taken to jail. i first came to washington in the same year that president obama was born to participate in
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the freedom rides. in 1961 black and white people could not be seated together on a greyhound bus. so we decided to take on integrated fashion rides from here to new orleans. but we never made it there. over 400 of us were arrested and jailed in mississippi during the freedom rides. a bus was set on fire in anderson, alabama. we were beaten, arrested and jailed. but we helped bring an end to segregation in public transportation. i came back here again in june of 1963 as the new chairman of the student nonviolent coordinating committee. we met with president kennedy, who said he defied the feeling in america. we had to pay a poll tax, pass a so-called literacy test, count the number of bubbles in a bar of soap or the number of jelly beans in a jar.
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hundreds of thousands of people were arrested and jailed throughout the south for trying to participate in the democratic process. medger evers had been killed. that is why away told president kennedy we planned it march on washington. on august 28, 1963, the nation's capitol was in a state of emergency. thousands of troops surrounded the city. workers were told to stay home. stores were closed. but the march was so orderly it was fear with dignity and self-
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respect because we believed in the way of peace, the way of love, the way of nonviolence. people came that day to that march dressed like they were on their way to a religious service. mahalia jackson sang how we got over. there were thousands of us together in a strange sense it seemed like the whole place started rocking. we truly believe in every human being, even those who were violent toward us there was a spark of the define. and no person had the right to scar or destroy that spark. martin luther king jr. taught us the way of peace, the way of love, the way of nonviolence. he taught us to have the power to forgive, the capacity to be reconciled. he taught us to stand up, to
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speak up, to speak out, to find a way to get in the way. people were willing to put their bodies on the line for a greater cause, greater than themselves. not one incident of violence was reported that day. because of the leadership of the movement. the spirit of dr. king's words captured the hearts of people not just around america but around the world. on that day, martin luther king jr. made a speech, but he also delivered a sermon. he transformed these marble steps of the lincoln memorial into a monitor-day pulpit. he changed us forever. after the ceremony was over, president kennedy invited us back down to the white house. he met us standing in the door of the oval office and he was beaming like a proud father as he shook the hands of each one of us he said, you did a good
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you did a good job. and he said to dr. king, and you have a dream. 50 years later we can right anywhere we want to ride, stay where we want to stay. those signs that say white and colored are gone. and you won't see them any more. except in a museum, in a book, or on a video. but there are still invisible signs, barriers in the heart of human kind that draw a gap between us. too many of us still believe our differences define us instead of the define spark that runs through all of human creation. the scars and stains of race ism still remain in society where they stop and frisk in new york or have injustice in the case of tray on this martin. the incarceration of millions of americans, immigrants hiding in the shadow, unemployment, homelessness, poverty, hunger or the renewed struggle for voting rights. we must never ever give up, we must never ever give in, we must
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keep the faith and keep our eyes on the prize. [applause] >> we did go to jail. but we got the civil rights act. we got a voting rights act. we got a fair housing act. but we must continue to push. we must continue to work. as the late organizer for the march said in 1963, and the leader of sufficiently rights we may have come here on different ships but we are all in the same boat now. so, it doesn't matter whether aware black or white, latino,
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asian american or native american, whether we are gay or straight, one one people, one family, we all live in the same house, not just the american house but the world's house. and when we finally assess these truths, then we will be able to fulfill dr. king's dreams to build a beloved community, a nation and a world at peace with itself. thank you very much. [cheers and applause] >> please welcome the 39th president of the united states, jimmy carter.
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>> i'm greatly honored to be here. i realize that most people know that it is highly unlikely that any of us three over to my right would have served in the white house or be on this platform had it not been for martin luther king jr. and his movement and crusader for civil rights. so, we are grateful to him for our being here. i'm also proud that i came from the same part of the south as he did. he never lost contact with the folks back home. he was in tennessee helping garbage workers when he gave his life to a racist bullet. i remember how it was back in those days. i left georgia in 1943 for college and the navy. when i came home, from the submarine duty i was put on the board of education.
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that we visit all the schools in the county. they had never done there before. they were reluctant to go with me. but we finally did it. and we found that white children had three nice brick buildings but the african-american children had 26 different elementary schools in the county. they were in churches, front living rooms, and a few were in barns. they had so many because there were no school buses for army children and they had to be within walking distance of where they went to class. their school books were outdated and worn out. and every one of them had a white child's name in the front of a book. we finally obtained some buses and in the state legislature
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ordained that the front fenders be painted black. not even the school buses could be equal to each other. one of the finest moments of my life was 10 months after dr. king's famous speech right here when president lyndon johnson signed the civil rights act. i was grateful when the king family adopted me as their presidential candidate in 1976. every handshake from dr. king, from daddy king, every hug for coretta, got me a million yankee votes. daddy king prayed at the democratic convention, for quite a while, and coretta was in the hotel room with me and rosalyn when i was elected president. my presidential battle of freedom citation to coretta said
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he gazed at the great wall of segregation and saw that the power of love could bring it down. he made our nation stronger because he played it better.-- made it better. we were able to create a national historic site where dr. king lived, worked and worshiped. it is next door to the carter path.r linked by a walking there away try to make principles follow the same as theirs emphasizing peace and human rights. i remember the daddy king said too many people martin preyed on in truth he prayed for all people. he added it is not enough to have a right to sit a lunch counter if you can't afford to buy a meal. he also said the ghetto still
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looks the same even from the front seat of a bus. perhaps the most challenging statement of martin luther king jr. was, and i quote, the question of our time is how to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to oppression and violence. in the nobel prize ceremony of 2002 i said to my fellow georgians the greatest leader that my native state and perhaps my native country has ever produced and i was not excluding presidents and even the founding fathers when i said this. i believe we all know how dr. king would have reacted to the new idea of promise to exclude certain voters especially african-americans. i think we all now how dr.
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king would have reacted to the supreme court's striking down a crucial part of the voter rights act recently passed overwhelmingly by congress. i think we know how dr. king would have reacted to unemployment among african- americans being almost twice the rate of white people and for teenagers at 42%. i think we would all know how dr. king would have reacted to our country being awash in guns and for more and more states passing "stand your ground" laws. i think we know how dr. king would have reacted for people from the district of columbia still not having full citizenship rights. [cheers and applause] >> and i think we all know how dr. king would have reacted to have more than 835,000 african- american men in prison, five
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times as many as when i left office and with one-third of all african-american members being destined to being imprisoned in their lifetime. there's a tremendous agenda ahead of us and i'm thankful to martin luther king jr. and his dream is still alive. thank you. [cheers and applause] >> and now, please welcome the 42nd president of the united states, bill clinton. [cheers and applause] >> thank you. mr. president, mrs. obama, president carter, vice president biden. i want to thank my great friend reverend bernice king and the king family for inviting me to
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be part of this 50th observation of one of the most important days in american history. dr. king and a. phish randolph. john lewis, dorothy heights. daisy bates and all the others who led there massive march knew what they were doing on this hallowed ground. in the shadow of lincoln's statue the burning memory of the fact that he gave his life to preserve the union and end slavery, martin luther king urged his crowd not to drink from the cup of bitterness, but to reach across the racial divide. because, he said, we cannot walk alone. their destiny is tied up with our destiny.
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their freedom is bound to our freedom. he asked the victims of racial violence to meet white americans with outstretched hands, not a clenched fist and prove the redeeming power of unearned suffering. and then he dreamed of an america where all citizens would sit together at a take of brotherhood and little white boys and girl and little black boys and girls would hold hands across the color line. where his own children would be judged not by the color of their skin but by the content of their character. this march and that speech changed america. they opened minds, they melted hearts, and they moved millions
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including a 17-year-old boy watching alone in his home in arkansas. it was an empowering moment but also an empowered moment. as the great chronicler of those years taylor branch wrote, the movement here gained a force to open "the stubborn gates of freedom and out flowed the civil rights act, voting rights act, medicaid, medicare, open housing. it is well to remember the leaders and foot soldiers were both idealists and tough realists. they had to be. it was a violent time. just three months later we lost president kennedy and we thank god that president johnson came in and fought for all of those issues i just mentioned.
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[applause] >> just five years later, we lost senator kennedy. and in between there was the carnage of the fight for jobs, freedom and equality. just 18 days after this march four little children were killed in the birmingham church bombing. then there were the ku klux klan murders, the mississippi lynchings. and a dozen others, until in 1968 dr. king himself was martyr ed still marching for jobs and freedom. what a debt we owe to those people who came here 50 years ago. [applause] >> the martyrs played it all for a dream. a dream as john lewis said that millions have now actually lived.
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how are we going to repay the debt? dr. king's dream of interdependence, his prescription of whole- hearted cooperation across racial lines, they ring as true today as they did 50 years ago. oh, yes, we face terrible political gridlock now. read a little history. it is nothing new. yes, there remain racial inequality in employment, income, health, wealth, incarceration and in the victims and perpetrators of violent crime. but we don't face beatings, lynchings and shootings for our political beliefs any more and i would respectfully suggest that martin luther king did not live and die to hear his heirs whine about political gridlock. it is time to start complaining and put our shoulders against the stubborn gates holding the
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american people back. we cannot be disheartened by the forces of resistance to building a modern economy of good jobs and rising income or rebuilding our education system to give our children a common core of knowledge necessary to ensure success. or to give americans of all ages access to affordable college and training programs. and we thank the president for his efforts in those regards. we cannot relax in our efforts to implement health care reform in a way that ends discrimination against those with preexisting conditions, one of which is inadequate income to pay for rising health care. [applause]
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a health care reform that will lower costs and lengthen lives. nor can away stop investing in science and technology to train young people of all races for the jobs of tomorrow and to act on what we learned about our bodies, our businesses, and our climates. we must push open those stubborn gates. we cannot be discouraged by a supreme court decision that said we don't need this critical provision of the voting rights act because look at the states. it made it harder for armies and hispanics and students and elderly and infirm and poor working folks to vote. what do you know? they showed up, stood in line for hours and voted anyway. so obviously we don't need any kind of law. [applause] >> but a great democracy does not make it harder to vote than
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to buy an assault weapon. [applause] we must open those stubborn gates. let us not forget that while racial divides persist and must not be denied, the whole american landscape is littered with lost dreams and dashed ,opes of people of all races and the great irony of the current moment is that the future has never brimmed with more possibilities. it has never burned brighter in what we could become. if we pushed open those stubborn gates. and if we do it together. the choice remains as it was on that distant summer day if the years ago -- 50 years ago, cooperate and thrive or fight
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with each other and fall behind. we should all thank god for dr. king and john lewis and all those who gave us a dream to guide us. [applause] a dream they paid for like our founders with their lives, their fortunes, their sacred honor. [applause] we thank them for reminding us that america is always becoming, always on a journey, and we are come every single citizen among us, have to run our laps. god bless them. god bless america. [applause] >> please give a warm welcome to martin luther king iii. >> mr. president, madam first lady, president carter,
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president clinton, congressman lewis and all program , this is an unusual .oment in our world history as we observe this 50th anniversary, i am so thankful for the opportunity to really tonk america for helping realize the dream, also i must say it is not yet realized. redouble and quadruple our efforts. anduch has been said today in 1963ve years old when dad delivered his message. i am blessed that we were able to bring our daughter who is hopefully paying attention, five , so that she can
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appreciate this history and .ontinue to participate two quick other things i want to say. i have been speaking all week as many of us have area -- have. i am reminded that that challenges us. he challenged our nation to be a better nation for all god's children. i am reminded that he taught us the power of love, a godly love, the love that is totally unselfish. you love someone if they're old or young, rich or poor, black or white, it does not matter. you love them because god knows us through that. is what wergiveness need more of, not just in our nation but throughout the world. you dado rush to tell said the ultimate measure of a
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human being is where one stands, not in times of comfort and convenience, but where he stands in times of challenge and controversy. he went on to say that on some , something deep inside calls conscience. he often talked about, sometimes we must take positions that are neither safe nor popular, but we must take those positions because our conscience tells us they are right. [applause] i finally say this afternoon, we have a lot of work to do. but none of us should be tired. why, because we have come much too far from where we started. you see, no one ever told any of us that our roads would be easy.
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i know our god did not bring any of us this far to leave us. thank you, god bless you. [applause] --please welcome [applause] >> thank you. obama,nt obama, mrs. former president clinton and other distinguished program participants, i am todayd to be among you and to address this historic tethering -- gathering. i don't know if i am the most senior speaker to address this
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assembly today, but i am certainly and surely the only who knew martin luther king jr. when he was a baby. it has been my great privilege to watch my little brothers grow and thrive and develop into a fine man and then a great leader whose legacy continues to inspire countless millions around the world. unfortunately, 50 years ago -- a flu virus that the years ago prevented me from attending the original march. i was able to watch it on television and i was as awestruck as everyone else.
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i knew martin was an excellent himcher because i had seen deliver on many occasions, but on that day, martin achieved rate this -- greatness because he melded the hopes and dreams of millions into a grand vision of healing, reconciliation and brotherhood. the dream my brother shared with our nation and world on that agotering day 50 years sustains to nurture and inviolent activist worldwide the struggle for freedom and human rights. provideshis gathering
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a powerful testament of hope and true positives that martin's great dream will live on in the hearts of humanity for generations to come. our challenge than as followers of martin luther king jr. is to now honor his life, leadership and legacy by living our lives in a way that carries forward the unfinished work. there is no better way to honor the sacrifices and contributions than by becoming champions of nonviolence in our homes and communities, and our places of work, worship and learning.
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everywhere, everyday. the dream martin shared on that remainsalf-century ago, a defensive statement of the american dream, the beautiful vision of a diverse freedom- loving people, united in our love, justice, brotherhood and sisterhood. yes, they can slay the dreamer cannot destroy his dreams. vision noteam is a yet to be realized, a dream yet doilled and we have much to before we can celebrate the .ream as a reality
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as the suppression of voting rights and horrific violence that has taken the lives of trayvon martin and young people all across america has so painfully demonstrated. but, despite the influences and challenges we face, we are here dream.o a firm the we are not going to be discouraged. we are not going to be distracted. we are not going to be defeated. instead, we are going forward into this uncertain future with courage and determination to make the dream a reality. so the work to fulfill the dream goes on and despite the daunting
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challenges we face on the road to the beloved community, i feel sinking deeperis and nourishing roots all over america and around the world. thrive andtinue to thread -- spread and help bring justice, peace and liberation to all humanity. thank you and god bless you all. [applause] >> please welcome reverend dr. bernice king. [applause] >> president obama, mrs. obama,
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president arthur and clinton -- carter and clinton, commerce memo as an ambassador young, my brother martin, and to my entire family, i was five months old when my father delivered his "i have a dream come go speech. i was probably somewhere rolling on the floor or taking a nap after having a meal. because a glorious day on this program, we have witnessed a manifestation of the beloved community. we thank everyone for their presence here today. today, we have been honored to have three presidents of the united states. 50 years ago, the president did not attend. today, we are honored to have many women in the planning and mobilization of the 50th
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anniversary of the march on washington. [applause] , there was not a single woman on the program. today, we are honored to have not just one young person, but several young people on the program today. a tribute to the work and legacy of so many people that have gone on before us. 50 years ago today, in the symbolic shuttle -- shadow of the great emancipator abraham lincoln, my father, the great liberator stood in this very spot and declared to this nation his dream to let freedom ring for all people who were being shackled by a system of segregation and discrimination. 50 years ago, he commissioned us to go back to our various cities, towns, hamlets, states and alleges and let freedom ring.
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the reverberation of the sound of that freedom message has since 1963.d echoed through the decades, coast-to- coast, throughout this nation and even around the world. it has summoned us once again to to send out ground a clarion call to let freedom ring. since that time, as a result of the civil rights act of 1964, the voting rights act of 1965, and the fair housing act of 1968, we have witnessed great strides toward freedom for all, regardless of race, color, gender, religion, national origin, disability, class or sexual orientation. , in this year of jubilee, we are standing once
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again in the shadow of that great emancipator having been summoned to these hallowed grounds to reverberate the message of that great liberator for there is a remnant from 1963, congressman lewis, ambassador young, but still remains who has come to bequeath that message of freedom to a new generation of people who must now carry that message in their time, in their communities, amongst their tribes, and among the nations of the world. we must keep the sound and the message of freedom and justice going. as my mother said previously, karen scott king -- coretta scott king who assembled a coalition of conscience that started us on this whole path of
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remembering the anniversary of the march on washington, she reminded us that the struggle is a never-ending process. freedom is never really won. you earn it and when it in every generation. we come once again to let freedom ring because of freedom stops ringing then the sound will disappear and the atmosphere will be charged with something else. againrs later, we, once to this special landing on the steps of the lincoln memorial to reflect, to renew and to rejuvenate for the continued struggle of freedom and justice. for today, 50 years later, my friends, we are still crippled by practices and policies steeped in racial pride, hatred and hostility, some of which have us standing our ground
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rather than finding common ground. chained by economic disparity, income and class inequality, and conditions of poverty. for many of god's children around this nation and the world, we are still bound by civil unrest and inherent social biases. they often times degenerates into violence and destruction, especially against women and children. we are at this landing and we must rate the cycle. the prophet king spoke the vision. he made it plain and we must run with it in this generation. his prophetic vision and magnificent dreams described the yearning of people all over the world to have the freedom to prosper in life, the right to
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pursue one's aspirations, purpose, dreams, well-being without oppressive, depressive, repressive practices, behaviors, laws and conditions that diminish one's dignity and deny one life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. the freedom to participate in government, which is the right to have a voice and a say in how you are represented, regulated and governed without threat of tyranny. disenfranchisement, exclusionary tactics and behavior. and, to have freedom to pollute -- peacefully coexist, the right to be respected in one's individuality and uniqueness without fear of attack, assault or abuse. asked a my father poignant and critical question, where do we go from here? chaos or community?
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we say, with a resounding voice, no to chaos, and yes the community. if we are going to rid ourselves of chaos, then we must make a necessary shift. than fors more tragic us to fail to achieve new attitudes and new mental outlooks. we have a tremendous and unprecedented opportunity to assess the very means by which we live, work and enjoy our lives. if we are going to continue the struggle of freedom and create true community, then we will have to be relentless in exposing, confronting and ridding ourselves of the mindset of pride, greed and selfishness and hate and lust and fear and idleness and lack of purpose and lack of love, as my brother said, for our neighbor. we must seize this moment, the dawning of a new day, the emergence of a new generation to
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change the world through collaborative power facilitated by unconditional love. brother who was also in the midst of rebuilding a community and in the midst of rebuilding a community, he brought the leaders and the rulers and the rest of the people together and told them that the work is great and large onewe are widely separated from another on the wall, but when you hear the sound of the trumpets, and might i say when you hear the sound of the bells today, come to that spot and our god will fight with us. today, we are going to let freedom ring all across this nation. we are going to let freedom ring everywhere we go. if freedom is going to ring, in libya, in syria, and egypt, in
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florida then we must reach across the table, feed each other and let freedom ring. [applause] >> in 1963, the baptist church was bombed. the bell was saved. thanks to the church and the mayor of birmingham, that bell is here. to help celebrate dr. king's legacy, let freedom ring. ♪ ringing]
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[applause] >> please welcome our next performer from tony and grammy award winner heather tetley. father help your children ♪ ♪don't let them fall teach them to love one another
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♪ find a place in our hearts ♪ ♪ jesus is love forever in my heart ♪ deep in my heart ♪
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♪ his love is power ♪ his love is glory ♪ love ♪an bring you
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jesus ♪ ♪ [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, the .resident of the united states
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[applause] >> to the king family who have ,acrificed and inspired so much to president clinton, president carter, vice president biden, , fivefellow americans camees ago today americans
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to this honored lace -- place to lay claim to a promise made at our founding. we hold these truths to be self- evident that all men are created equal. they are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable life,, among these are liberty and the pursuit of happiness. almost 200 years after , ase words were set to paper full century after a great war was fought and emancipation proclaimed, that promise, those truths remained unmet.
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and so, they came by the thousands from every corner of women,ntry, men and young and old, blacks who long for freedom and whites who could no longer accept rhythm for themselves while witnessing -- freedom for themselves while witnessing the subjugation of others. congregationsd, sent them off with food and prayer. in the middle of the night, the entire blocks of harlem came out to wish them well. with a few dollars they scrimped from their labor, some bought tickets and boarded buses even if they couldn't always sit where they wanted to sit. those with less money hitchhiked or walked.
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there were seamstresses, steelworkers, students and porters. maids and they shared a simple meals and bumped together on floors -- bunked together on floors. then, on a hot summer day, they assembled here in our nation's under the shadow of the great emancipator to offer testimony of injustice, to petition their government for to awaken america's long slumbering conscience. we rightly and best remember dr.
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king's soaring oratory that they come out he gave a mighty voice to the quiet hopes of millions, how he offered a salvation path for oppressed and oppressor's alike. ages,rds belong to the possessing a power unmatched in our time. to recall thatl day itself also belonged to the ordinary people whose names never appeared in the history tv.s, never got on many have gone to segregated schools and sat in segregated lunch counters. they lived in towns where they couldn't vote and cities where their votes didn't matter.
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they were couples in love who didn't marry, soldiers who fought for freedom abroad that they found denied to them at home. beatend seen loved ones and children fire hosed. they had every reason to lash out in anger or resigned .hemselves to a bitter fate and yet, they chose a different path. in the face of hatred, they prayed for their tormentors. in the face of violence, they with theand sat in willinglyonviolence, they went to jail to protest
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unjust laws. with thels swelling sound of freedom songs. a lifetime of indignities had taught them that no man can take away the dignity and grace that god grants. they have learned through hard experience what frederick douglass once taught, that freedom is not given, it must be won through struggle and the discipline, persistence and faith. that was the spirit they brought here that day. that was the spirit young people like john lewis brought to that day. that was the spirit that they carried with them ke a torch back to their cities and their neighborhoods. that steady flame of conscience and courage that would sustain
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them through the campaigns to and voterugh boycotts registration drives, smaller marches farther from the spotlight, through the loss of four little girls in birmingham, agony ofge and the dallas and california and setbacks andugh , that flame of justice flickered. it never died. because they kept marching, america changed. because they marched come the civil rights law was passed. because they marched, a voting rights law was signed.
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because they marched, doors of opportunity and education swung open so their daughters and sons could finally imagine a life for themselves beyond watching someone else's laundry or shunning somebody else's shoes. [applause] because they marched, city councils changed and state legislatures changed and congress changed and yes, eventually the white house changed. [applause] because they marched, america became more free and more fair not just for african but for women and latinos, asians and native americans, catholics, ,ews and muslims, gays americans with disabilities, america changed for you and for me. strengthe world drew
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from that example. whether it be young people who watched from the other side of an iron curtain and would eventually tear down that wall or the young people in south who would eventually end the scourge of apartheid. [applause] those are the victories they won with iron wells and hope in their hearts -- iron wills and hope in their hearts. that is the transformation they with each step of their well-worn shoes. debt that i and millions of americans over those maids, those laborers, those porters, those secretaries, folks who could have run a company if they had ever had a chance.
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the white students who put themselves in harms way even though they didn't have to. the japanese-americans who were called to internment. the jewish americans who survived the holocaust. people who could have given up and given in but kept on keeping cometh in that joy the morning. [applause] on the battlefield of justice, men and women about rank or wealth or title or fame would ways that ourl in children now take for granted as people of all colors and creeds lived together and learn together and walk together and fight alongside one another and love one another and to judge one another by the content of
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our character. in this greatest nation on earth. dismiss the magnitude of this as some, to suggest sometimes do that little has changed, that dishonors the ofriage and the sacrifice those who paid the price to march in those years. [applause] medgar evers, james chaney, andrew goodman, martin luther king jr., they did not die in vain. their victory was great, but we
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would dishonor those heroes as that the work of this nation is somehow complete. moral universe may bend towards justice that it doesn't bend on its own. to secure the gains this country has made requires constant vigilance, not complacency. by challenging those who direct new barriers to the vote or ensuring that the scales of justice work equally for all in the criminal justice some and not ugly a pipeline from underfunded schools to overcrowded jails. it requires vigilance. [applause] we will suffer the occasional setback. but we will win these fights. this country has changed too
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much. [applause] regardless ofwill party are too plentiful for those with ill will to change history's currents. in some ways, though, the securing of civil rights, voting revocation -- eradication of legalized dissemination, the evidence -- significance of these may have obscured a second goal of the march. the men and women who gathered 50 years ago were not there in .earch of some abstract ideal they were there seeking jobs as well as justice. not just the absence of
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oppression, but the presence of economic opportunity. [applause] for what does it profit a man, dr. king would ask, to sit and an integrated lunch counter if he can't afford the meal? this idea that one's liberty is linked to one's livelihood, that the pursuit of happiness requires the dignity of work, the skills to find work, decent pay, some measure of material security, this idea was not new. understood the declaration of independence in such terms. as a promise that in due time, the weights should be lifted from the shoulders of all men and that all should have an .qual chance
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dr. king explained that the goals of african-americans were identical to working people of wages, fairecent working conditions, livable housing, old age security, health and welfare measures, conditions in which families can grow, have education for their children and respect in the community. describing has been the dream of every american. -- lord new arrivals -- lured new arrivals to our shores for centuries. toil toce to honest advance one's station in life. the goals of 50 years ago have fallen most short.
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yes, there have been examples of success within black america that would have been unimaginable a half-century ago. remainedmployment has a most twice as high as white unemployment. close unemployment) -- behind. the gap has not lessened. it has grown. indicated,t clinton the position of all working americans regardless of color has eroded making the dream dr. king described even more elusive. for over a decade, working americans of all races have seen their wages and incomes stagnate even as corporate profits soar. even as the pay of a fortunate inequality has steadily risen over the decades.
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upward mobility has become hard. in too many communities across this country, in cities and suburbs and rural hamlets, the shadow of poverty casts a pall over our youth. andequate health care perennial violence. and so, as we mark this , we must remind ourselves that the measure of progress for those who marched 50 years ago was not merely how many blacks could join the ranks of millionaires. it was whether this country would admit all people who were willing to work hard regardless of race into the ranks of the middle class. [applause] the test was not and never has been whether the doors of
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opportunity are cracked a bit wider for a few, it is whether our economic system provides a fair shot for the many, for the black custodian and the white steelworker, the immigrant dishwasher and the native american. to win that battle, to answer that call, this remains our .reat unfinished business we shouldn't fool ourselves, the task will not be easy. since 19 six to be, the economy has changed -- 1963, the economy has changed. reduced the bargaining power of american workers. .olitics has suffered
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entrenched interests, those who benefit from an unjust status quo resist any government efforts to give working families a fair deal. an army of lobbyists and opinion makers argue that minimum wage increases were stronger labor laws or taxes on the wealthy who can afford it just to fund crumbling schools, that all these things violate economic presence. told that growing inequality was a price for a growing economy, a measure of the free market. good, compassion ineffective. jobs or healthut care had only themselves to blame. then there were those elected officials who found it useful to practice the old politics of division, doing their best to
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convince middle-class americans of a great untruth, the government was somehow to blame for their growing economic insecurity, that distant bureaucrats were taking their hard-earned dollars to benefit the welfare cheat or the illegal immigrant. ourselves,onest with we will admit that during the course of 50 years, there were times when some of us, claiming .o push for change lost our way the anguish of assassinations set off self-defeating riots. legitimate grievances against police brutality turned into excuse making for criminal behavior. racial politics could cut both ways as the transformative message of unity and brotherhood
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was drowned out by the language of recrimination. call forad once been a equality of opportunity, the chance for all americans to work was too oftenhead framed as a mere desire for government support, as with -- as if we have no agency in our own liberation. that poverty was an excuse for not raising your child. all of that history is how progress stalled. it is how hope was diverted. it is how our country remains divided. but the good news is, justice -- just as was true in 1963, we now have a choice.
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we can continue down our current path in which the gears of this great democracy grind to a halt and our children accept a life of lower expectations where politics is a zero-sum game, where few do really well while struggling families of every race fight over a shrinking economic. that is one path. age to change. the march on washington teaches trapped byare not the mistakes of history. we are masters of our fate. it also teaches us that the promise of this nation will only .e kept when we work together we will have to reignite the embers of empathy, the coalition defined in this
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place 50 years ago. i believe that spirit is there. that true force inside each of us. i see it when a white mother recognizes her own daughter in the face of a poor black child. i see it when the black youth things of his own grandfather and the dignified steps of an elderly white man. it is there when the nativeborn recognizing that striving spirit of the new immigrant, when the interracial couple connects the pain of a gay couple who were discriminated against and understands it as their own. fromis where courage comes . when we turn not from each other or on each other but towards one another and we find that we do not walk alone. that is where courage comes from. [applause]
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and with that courage, we can stand together for good jobs and just wages. with that courage, we can stand together for the rights to health care and the richest mansion on earth for every person -- richest nation on earth for every person. we can stand together for the right of every child to get an education that stirs the mind and captures the spirit and prepares them for the world that awaits them. [applause] with that courage, we can feed the hungry and house the homeless and transform leak wastelands of poverty into .ields of commerce and promise america, i know the road will be long, but i know we can get there. yes, we will stumble, but i know we will get back up.
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that is how a movement happens. that is how history bends. that is how when somebody is faint of heart, some of the else bring them along and says, come on, we are marching. [applause] reason why so many who marched that day and in the days to come or young -- were y oung, for the young are unconstrained by habits of fear, unconstrained by the conventions of what-ifs. to dream differently, to imagine something better. i am convinced that same imagination, the same hunger of generationrs in this . we might not face the same dangers of 1963, but the fierce urgency of now remains. we may never duplicate the swelling crowds and battling
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procession of that day so long ago. no one can match king's brilliance but the same flame that lists the heart of all who are willing to take a first step for justice, i know that flame remains. that tireless teacher who gets to class early and stays late and dips into her own pocket to buy supplies because she believes that every child is her charge, she is marching. [applause] businessman who doesn't have to, but pays his workers a fair wage and offers a shot to a man, may be an ex-con who is down on his luck, he is marching. [applause] mother who pours her love into her daughters so that she grows up with a confidence to walk through the same doors as anybody's son, she is marching. [applause]
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the father realizes the most important job he will ever have is raising his voice right even if he didn't have a father, especially if he didn't have a father at home, he is marching. [applause] veterans whoarred devote themselves not only to helping their federal -- fellow warriors walk again but to keep serving their country when they come home, they are marching. [applause] everyone who realizes what those glorious people knew on that day, that change does not come from washington but to washington, that change has always been built on our tolingness, we, the people take on the mantle of citizenship, you are marching. that is the lesson of our past. that is the promise of tomorrow. in the face of impossible odds, people who love their country
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and millions of americans in every region, every faith and every station can join together in a spirit of brotherhood, then those mountains will be made low. those rough places will be made plain. those crooked places straighten out the words grace and we will vindicate the faith of those who sacrificed so much and live up to the true meaning of our creed as one nation under god indivisible with liberty and justice for all. [applause] ♪
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♪ ♪
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♪ ♪
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♪ ♪
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[applause] >> on the next washington journal, former notes to go to
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senator -- north dakota senator talks about the situation in syria, cybersecurity and a novel. potentialok at the effect of the keystone oil pipeline on the economy and environmental safety concerns. pipeline is a former safety administration official during the bush administration. general forspector the education department on fraud. live everyjournal is morning at 7:00 eastern on c- span. bring public affairs events from washington directly to you, putting you in the room at congressional hearings, white house events, briefings and conferences and offering complete gavel-to-gavel coverage of the u.s. house as a public service of private industry. we are c-span, created a the cable tv in history and funded by your local able or satellite
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provider. now, you can watch us in hd. tonight, up on c-span the entire 50th anniversary of the march on washington from the lincoln memorial. that is >> followed by discussion on the syrian civil war and the u.s. relationship with syrian opposition groups. then another chance to see the 50th anniversary of the march. president obama marked the ch onersary of the mar washington at the lincoln memorial where martin luther king jr. gave his i have a dream speech 50 years ago. along with family members of martin luther king jr. and other civil rights leaders. the entire event is 4.5 hours.
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>> good morning, everybody. it is a privilege to welcome you to a celebration and commemoration of the march on washington. >> on this very day, 50 years years ago,s spot, 50 hundreds of thousands came together to be part of a call to action. >> that moment would remind us of our core values, who we are as americans. the speech by dr. martin luther king jr. was delivered right here. see, look around. imagine what it was like to be here 50 years ago. hundreds of thousands of people came from across our country to
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be part of something bigger than themselves. >> there was rumors that coming here would be dangerous. there were fears that nobody would show up. in the end, it was a success because people believed in the power of standing for something. that speech by dr. king was not called, "i have a dream." it was called, normalcy never again. it was about opportunity for all people. >> it was about looking forward to where we need to go as a country, which reminds me of one of my favorite quotes from 50 years ago. he said, the future does not belong to those who are fearful of gold projects and new ideas, but it longs to those -- belongs to those who can blend passion and courage. >> in 1963, i was in the mind of god, as my mother would say. my parents, an interracial couple, knew the importance of
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the message that was delivered here. their marriage in 1958 was illegal in the state where they lived. they came to the nation's capital to get married. 55 years later, they have seen tremendous change. they have seen opportunities grow. >> look at this audience. if you were here during the march in 63, make some noise. if you wish you were here in 1963, make some noise. >> those of you who were here, we say thank you. it was your passion -- >> it was your courage -- >> it was your commitment to change the world allowed those of us who were not there to benefit from the sacrifices you made. >> today we are gathered to humbly say, thank you. to celebrate what was gained, remember what was lost, and move forward. we know we are always better if we stand together.
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>> thank you, and welcome, everybody. [applause] >> to give today's invitation, lee's welcome pastor a r bernard from the christian cultural center -- please welcome pastor a.r. bernard from the christian cultural center. >> good morning. writer-philosopher, educator, first black rhodes scholar in 1907, elaine leroy iraq -- leroy locke said that beatings, castration's, and more lynching it almost passes human
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understanding how people can be so socially despised, yet artistically esteemed. so degraded, and yet culturally influential. so ostracized, and yet a dominant editorial force in american life. zora neale hurston said, sometimes i do feel discriminated against, but it doesn't make me angry. it merely astonishes me, how can anyone deny themselves the pleasure of my company is beyond me. these were two voices from an era and african-american history that sought to move away from the influences of slavery on black identity, guided by the ideals of self definition, self- expression, self-determination and self-reliance. they forged a new black identity.
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they called themselves the new negro movement, better known as the harlem renaissance. creating their own literature, arts, music, theater. they artistically and intellectually challenged the prevailing black stereotypes. from this generation emerged names such as elaine leroy locke, neale hurston claude mckay, fats waller, duke ellington. america experienced and said, we like the style of these people. they enjoyed it, adopted it, integrated it. and exploited it. the popularity of black style and culture soon spread throughout the country. it was not enough for black folks to be artistically admired. black folks wanted and demanded full participation in the social, political, and economic life of american society.
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that attitude set the stage for the civil rights movement of the 1950's and 1960's. on wednesday, august 28, 1963, 300,000 people -- 80% of them black -- marched on the nation's capital as did before this lincoln memorial, declaring that the time for radical change had come -- and stood before this lincoln memorial, declaring that the time for radical change had come. celebrating the past is good. but without a vision for the future, we will never move beyond that past. in 2008, america was ready for an intelligent and articulate black man to sit in the oval office. he brought not only his intelligence, but some swagger into the white house. the reality is, in three years,
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the first black family will leave the white house, and black folks will be forced to ask the question, where are we as black people in america? where are we politically, socially, educationally, and economically? we will discover that the struggle is not over. with determination, faith, and patients, we have obtained some of the promises of america. but we still have a long way to go. the same god who brought us this far, we must trust and depend on to take us into the future. let us bow our heads and go to that god in prayer. internal got an everlasting father, -- eternal god and
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everlasting father, our prayer is short and simple. give us wisdom, give us insight. give us courage. give us leadership. more importantly, give us a vision for the future. without it, we will not move beyond the achievements of the past. we ask you to bless every speaker, every singer. bless us today as we celebrate the past, but look forward to the future. in your name we pray, amen. >> ladies, it is my humbling honor to bring to you now a man who i have the deepest respect for, someone who is a living
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legend and true hero of the civil rights movement. please rise to your feet and welcome ambassador andrew young. [applause] >> i don't know about you, but i woke up this morning ♪ with my mind set on freedom ♪ come on, help me. ♪ i woke up this morning with my mind ♪ ♪ staid on freedom ♪ hallelu ♪hallelujah ♪ i'm walking and talking with my mind ♪ ♪ my mind was set on freedom
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♪ walking and talking with my mind ♪ set on freedom ♪ ♪ walking and talking with my mind ♪ ♪ set on freedom ♪ hallelujah [applause] 50 years ago, when we came here, we came from a battle. we came from a battle in birmingham. that was just a few months before, before martin luther king came here to speak of his dream. he had been through bombings, jailing's, beatings. he had been snatched from his jailhouse cell and put in chains and taken down to the reidsville penitentiary in the middle of
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the night and thought it was going to be his last night on earth. he went through the battles of albany and birmingham and came out victorious. we knew the fight was just beginning. we knew we had a long way to go, and this was just the start. he came here representing the southern christian leadership conference, saying that we were going to redeem the soul of america from the triple evils of racism, war, and poverty. he came not talking so much about racism nor war. his speech was about poverty. he said the constitution was a promissory note, to which all of us would fall heir. when men and women of color presented their check at the bank of justice, it came back marked insufficient funds.
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he said he knew that was not the end. 50 years later, we are still here, trying to cash that bad check. 50 years later, we are still dealing with all kinds of problems. we are not here to claim any victory. we are here to simply say that the struggle continues. a long time ago, when things would get difficult, ralph at say, i don't know what the future may hold. but i know who holds the future. and martin would say that the ark of the universe bends towards justice. god beneath the shadows, keeping watch above his own. i want to say to you this morning -- i want to say --
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♪ i got a feeling everything's got a be all right ♪ ♪ i've got a feeling everything's going to be all right ♪ ♪ i've got a feeling everything's going to be all right ♪ ♪ be all right ♪ be all right pray on, and stay on, and fight on. [applause] >> please welcome robbie novak, national parks service director jonathan jarvis, and the mayor of washington, d.c., vincent gray.
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>> i wasn't here 50 years ago, but i hope to be in the next 50 years. we have a duty to make sure the world keeps dreaming for better things. keep dreaming, keep dreaming, keep dreaming. >> in the summer of 1963, the civil rights movement was reaching its crescendo. a march on washington became one of its defining moments. there are countless photographs of that historic day. one shows a pair of national park service rangers standing by dr. king on the steps of the lincoln memorial. the image captures a small moment in a great event, but speaks volumes about the role of the national park service.
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we are here, we will always be here as the guardians of the american story. we gather today admits the greatest concentration of american monuments anywhere in the country -- amidst the greatest concentration of american monuments anywhere in the country. at each you will find a familiar national park service arrowhead, and the distinctive ranger's flat hat. we are there to welcome visitors, answer questions, and take care of these treasured places, to preserve the american stories they represent and the aspirations that bind us together as a people. the places are now reserved as national parks across our nation. the first women's rights convention in seneca, new york.
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the edmund pettis bridge and the long road from selma to montgomery. the home and office of cesar chavez. little rock, brown v board. the power of these places is to inspire each generation to have a dream and the courage to make it a reality. national park service's fundamental mission is to keep a promise to the american people, that the ideas that shape us as a nation, the principles we strive to uphold, the values we fought and died for will be preserved forever. we are very proud of the two rangers who stood on the steps 50 years ago. they will forever connect the national park service to the march on washington. my promise to you today is that we will protect these, and all the places entrusted to our
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care, to the highest standard of stewardship. we will also use them to inspire the next generation to create a more perfect union. thank you, and welcome. [applause] >> good morning, everyone. on behalf of the 632,000 residents of the district of columbia, allow me to welcome you to our nation's capital. 50 years ago today, in his timeless "i have a dream" speech, dr. king borrowed a lyric from one of our favorite patriotic songs. "let freedom ring."
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from stone mountain of georgia, and every hill of mississippi. there was one place that dr. king did not mention, about which he later spoke of. that was the district of columbia. that is because full freedom and democracy were and are still denied to the people who quite literally live within the site of the capitol dome. our city is home to more residents than the state of vermont and wyoming. but we have no voting representative in our own congress. we pay more than $3.5 billion a year in federal taxes. we don't even get the final say over how we spend our own
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locally raised money. we send our sons and daughters to fight for democracy overseas, but don't get to practice it fully here at home. today, as we remember those who gave so much have a century ago to extend the blessings of liberty to all americans, i implore and hope that all of you will stand with me when i say that we must let freedom ring from mount saint alban, where rises the majestic national cathedral. we must let freedom ring from the bridges of anacostia. we must let freedom ring from capitol hill itself, until all of the residents of the very seat of our great democracy are truly free. again, let me welcome you to our nation's capital, the district of columbia.
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please join hands with us and make every american free, especially those who live in the district of columbia, our nation's capital. >> minister and vocal artist. >> let freedom ring. let it ring. ♪
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♪ i believe for every drop of rain that falls ♪ ♪ a flower grows ♪ i believe that somewhere in the darkest night ♪ ♪ a candle glows ♪ i believe for everyone who goes astray ♪ ♪ someone will come to show the way ♪ ♪ i believe ♪ i believe ♪ i believe above the storm, the smallest prayer will still be heard ♪
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♪ i believe that someone in that great somewhere hears every word ♪ ♪ every time i hear a newborn baby cry ♪ ♪ or touch a leaf ♪ or see the sky ♪ then i know i believe ♪ i believe above the storm ♪ the smallest prayer will still be heard ♪ ♪ i believe that someone in that great somewhere ♪
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♪ hears every word ♪ every time i hear a newborn baby cry ♪ ♪ or touch a leaf ♪ or see the sky ♪ then i know i believe ♪ every time i hear a newborn baby cry ♪ ♪ or touch a leaf ♪ or see the sky ♪ then i know i ♪ i believe ♪ then i know i
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♪ i believe [applause] please welcome the honorable angus king, u.s. senator from maine. >> 50 years ago, americans marched to this face. they came from the north east, west, midwest. they came from the south. they came by rail, they came by
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bus. they came by car. one even roller skated here from chicago. they slept the night before in buses, in cars, on friend's floors, and in churches. 50 years ago this morning, we started in small rivulets of people on the sidestreets of this great city. we joined together in larger streams moving toward the main arteries of washington. then we came together in a mighty river of people down to this place. old, young, black, white, protestant, catholic, and you -- jew. we stopped at the washington monument and heard peter, paul, and mary sing of the hammer of justice and the bill of freedom. -- bell of freedom.
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americans came to this place around a radical idea, an idea at the heart of the american experience. an idea new to the world and in 1976, tested in 1865, renewed in 1963, and an idea still new and radical today. all men and women are created equal. all men and women are created equal. 50 years ago, at this place, at this sacred place, americans sent a message to their leaders and around the world that the promise of a quality, of
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opportunity, equality before the law, equality in the right to freely participate in the benefits and responsibilities of citizenship applied to everyone in this country. not just the lucky few of the right color or the accident of birth. this is what martin luther king meant when he said that his dream was deeply rooted in the american dream. 150 years ago this summer a mighty battle was fought not far from this place. this idea, the idea of equality, the idea of america hung in the balance. one of the soldiers on those hot july days was a young college
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professor from maine named joshua lawrence chamberlain. returning to the battlefield at gettysburg many years later, he expressed the power of the place where such momentous deeds were done. here is what he said. here is what joshua chamberlain said. in great deeds, something abides. on great fields, something stays. forms change and path bodies disappear, but spirits linger to consecrate the ground for the vision place of souls. generations that no was not, and that we know not of, to see where and by whom great things were suffered and done for them
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shall come to this deathless field, to this deathless place to ponder and dream. and lo, the shadow of a mighty presence will wrap them in its bosom, and the power of the vision shall pass into their souls. 50 years ago today, this place was a battlefield. no shots were fired. no canon's roared. a battlefield nonetheless. a battlefield of ideas. the ideas that define us as a nation. as it was once said of church churchill, martin luther king mobilized the english language and marched into war.
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in the process, caught the conscience of the nation. here today on these steps, 50 years on, indeed something abides. the power of the vision has surely passed into our souls. [applause] >> please welcome the mayor of hattiesburg, johnny depree. >> i want to thank the national conference of black mayors, and the coalitions for the opportunity to make a few remarks on this occasion. decades ago, blood, sweat, tears, organizing meetings, negotiations and adjudications all culminated in a march 50
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years ago. in march that would change the lives of millions of people, including myself. if someone would've told me that this little country boy who grew up on a dirt road in hattiesburg, mississippi would become a mayor, i would have fallen off a truck. my house and my cousin's house were next-door. we call that house a shotgun house. you may have had the opportunity to take a bath in a number 310. i did that. that's where i come from. playing with rocks because my mom could not afford the ball. to become the mayor of the fourth-largest city in mississippi. we have been entrusted with making the lives of people better that we serve.
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our theme is, freedom to prosper, coexist, govern. african-americans, elected officials and black mayors in particular must not create ways to govern after being elected. for a brief period of time, during reconstruction, african- americans held elected office. jim crow quickly ended that. one of the challenges before african-americans, minorities, and women is the freedom to govern. we must do locally what president obama was able to do nationally, and go back to the individuals, groups, pastors who helped get us here and encourage them to make their voices heard and push our collective agendas
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forward. we are afforded an awesome opportunity to be here today. we have this opportunity because of people like martin luther king, who did not quiver or retreat in the face of injustice. it is because of those who demanded to remain seated when they were asked to move. it is because of those who marched on, even though they were weary and bloodied. one foot in front of the other. one song after another. until they did what people said could not be done. we will march on. thank you. [applause]
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♪ ♪ how many roads must a man walk down ♪ ♪ before they call him a man ♪
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sail♪ the answer, my friends, is ♪ the answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind ♪ ♪ the answer is blowing in the wind ♪ ♪ the answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind ♪ ♪ the answer is blowing in the wind ♪ ♪ how many years can a mountain exist ♪ ♪ before it is washed to the sea
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♪ ♪ how many years can some people exist ♪ ♪ before they have to be free how many times can a man turn his head and pretend that he just doesn't see ♪ the answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind ♪ ♪ the answer is blowing in the wind ♪ ♪ one more time ♪ the answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind ♪ ♪ the answer is blowing in the wind ♪
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♪ how many times can a man look up ♪ ♪ before he can see the sky ♪ how many ears must one man have ♪ ♪ before he can hear people cry how many deaths will it take til he knows diedtoo many people have ♪ ♪ the answer is blowing in the wind ♪ ♪ the answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind ♪
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♪ the answer is blowing in the wind ♪ [applause] >> one of the central goals of the march on washington 50 years ago was to secure the right to vote. this year, the supreme court struck down a key provision of the 1965 voting rights act. our next guest fully understands the impact of the court's
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decision. lee's join me in welcoming charles steele junior, president and ceo of the southern christian leadership conference, and melanie campbell, president and ceo of the national coalition of black civic participation. >> thank you so much. i am honored to be here today on this great occasion. 50 years ago, i was a 17-year- old boy in tuscaloosa, alabama, where my mother and father told me something great was getting ready to happen. i could not play ball that particular day. it was a historical event, she said. it's going to change not only america, but the world. and then i began to listen to dr. king.
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i realized that dr. king advocated for poor people. if dr. king was here today, i would ask them the question if he was satisfied with the representation of poor people. i came to the conclusion that he would be very upset and very disturbed. he would say that, jobs, we don't have anybody lobbying for poor folks. and it is because of the lack of people who are concerned about the needs of these people who are suffering. he was saying that we must still hit the streets. we must still demonstrate.
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now we must go back to ground zero. we must continue to march. we must continue to pray. through that experience, the whole world is saying, teachers, my brothers and sisters. teach us how to get free. freedom ain't free because we must still fight for freedom. are you ready to march? are you ready to demonstrate? we must head back to the streets and liberate and free all of god's children. love is what love does. we must free the people. thank you so much.
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>> today we join elder bernice king in solidarity in her vision of a manifestation of her father's dream, the freedom to prosper in life, the freedom to peacefully coexist, and the freedom to participate in government. today we also pause to think our ancestors and forbearers who stood on these steps 50 years ago, calling for jobs and freedom. tomorrow we take dr. king's dream and vision of our elders to the next level by igniting a new movement for jobs, freedom, peace, and social justice. as i look at the state of equality and justice today, we are at a very critical moment in time. our elders have taken us this
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far. now it is time for us to move forward in the fight for equality and justice. we have made progress over the past 50 years, but we have not arrived. it is time to step it up and get busy. just as in 1963 there are still those who are threatened by exclusion, today racism and inequality does not manifest itself in a white sheet, jim crow laws, poll taxes, or barking dogs. but the dogs are still biting in other ways. today, there are no white sheets. but there are judges in black robes in the u.s. supreme court who struck down section four of the voting rights act, opening the floodgates for many states to pass more voter id laws, with
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the goal of ensuring we never see another black man or woman elected president. today, as i did on saturday at the 50th march on washington, i just dropped by to tell you, and just to remind you it is movement time. the daughter of janet campbell, mentored by dorothy irene height as a take my seat, i leave you with the words of agile brand off. at the banquet table of nature, there are no reserved seats. you get what you can take, and you keep what you can hold. if you can't take anything, you won't get anything. if you can't hold anything, you won't keep anything.
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we did not make it this far just by passing along. we have come this far by leaning on the lord. trusting on his holy words, we have come this far. thank you. >> the honorable joaquin castro. >> it's an honor to be here with you today. i, as the son of the great state of texas, the home to the president as -- who signed the most sweeping civil rights legislation in our history. i also speak to you as someone of a grateful generation, grateful for the struggles and the movement and the blood and tears and work of the civil rights pioneers who stood here
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50 years ago today, and those who marched in the streets of selma come of those who organized, people in factories and farms, those who took their battles to the courts like thurgood marshall. those who organized, those such as willie velasquez. my own parents in the 1960's were involved in a movement inspired by martin luther king and the men and women who stood here. they were active in the chicano movement, for the latino civil rights movement. i want to say thank you to them, and thank you to all of you. i also want to make a promise to you. as somebody of a younger generation of americans, i want to promise you that all of the struggles and all of the fights and all of the year so you put into making our country a better place, to helping our leaders
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understand that freedom and democracy are prerequisites to opportunity -- this generation of americans will not let that dream go. we will carry on, and make sure that this country lives up to the values and principles for which you fought so hard. thank you very much. [applause] >> please welcome perry christie, prime minister from the commonwealth of the bahamas. >> greetings from the bahamas. martin luther king jr. holds a very special place in the hearts and minds of bahamians, not least because he spent time amongst us, both in nassau and the tiny island of bimini, where in 1964 while on a brief vacation, he composed his nobel prize acceptance speech.
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on a clear night, the lights of metropolitan miami are visible from the shores of bimini, showing the closeness between our two nations. we are less than 50 miles apart. however close that may be in the literal sense, we are in the geography of the soul even closer than that. the common ties of history, ethnicity and culture, migration, a common heritage of struggle bind us together. the message i bring to you today can be briefly stated, and it is this. as momentous as this occasion is, we do a grave injustice to ourselves and to all humanity if we leave here and resolved to carry on the greater noble struggle for which martin luther
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king jr. gave his life. the blood of this good man shed in memphis still cries out across the years. cries out to each and everyone of us, wherever we may be, all across the world, to stand up for freedom. to stand up for human dignity. to stand up for equality. to stand up for social justice. to stand up for right and not wrong, peace, not war, love, and not hate. it is the timelessness and universality of the message she proclaimed and the her of majesty of his personal example that explains why martin luther king jr. is as relevant today as compelling today, as inspirational today, as he was 50 years ago, from the very precinct where he delivered the oration that rocked the conscience of america and the world. when he spoke as he did that
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day, we somehow knew, we somehow felt that his message was coming from a place that was not only deeper than himself, but deeper than all. he had a call to the place and one rousing us from our slumber so that we could take our own inner soundings and in so doing he gave language to our deepest journey for a better life. martin luther king's work remains unfinished. this must then be for us a time not only for renewal, but above all, a profoundly personal loan will and the most authentic way possible, a time of weak dedication to the dream that martin champion all his life. the the light of the flame continue to guide us as we go forward, each in his own way, to continue the work of martin luther king. in that way, and in no other way, we keep his dream alive and make it our own.
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[applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, from the commonwealth of the bahamas, the number one expression of the crown of the people, the soul and spirit. ♪
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♪ ♪ ♪
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♪ [applause] >> please welcome civil rights activist and journalist mayor lee evans williams. >> 50 years ago, we gathered in
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this very same spot. we felt, in the words of another mississippian, fannie lou hamer, i am sick and tired of being sick and tired. and i do believe that is what the crowd some 50 years ago was saying to all of our leaders. dr. king and took the helm, and under his leadership, and under those who gave their lives such as medgar evers and so many others, said enough is enough, america. this is our country, all of us. we belong here.
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and here we are, some 50 years later, assessing what has happened over this period of time. where we are and what we must do. for a brief period of time, i think we fell asleep and we said, we have moved forward and everything is ok, but we know today that everything is not ok, that there has been a retrenchment in this country as far as civil rights and equal rights is concerned. we marched, we sat, the triumphs and even the defeats along to us all. dr. king told us that he might not get to the mountaintop with us, but he said that there is a promised land, and america is
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that promised land for all of us. we are bounded by deep roots of the individuals that inevitably become a strong group to be reckoned with, and our strength is in our numbers. in today's world, there is emphasis on individuality. how can i reach my top? i am sure no matter how strong any one person may be, they may be strengthened with strong support from each other, encouragement and guidance from those of us who have walked the path. the movement can no longer afford an individual approach to justice. ours is an interconnected struggle. blacks, whites, male, female, young, old, everyone.
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we are all in titled to, and protected by this country that we call home. at times, it is necessary that we let those who represent us on capitol hill, those who represent us in our communities, knowing that we are a force to be reckoned with. many of our messages today target today's youth and our elders. i look specifically at those new parents, our young professionals, youthful educators, and community activists. they are young enough to relate, but also established in our community, and i ask you, how will we bridge that gap? what are our next steps? because this country, in the area of civil rights, has

U.S. House of Representatives
CSPAN August 28, 2013 5:00pm-9:01pm EDT

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TOPIC FREQUENCY Dr. King 44, Washington 30, Martin Luther King 15, John Lewis 11, Lord 11, Martin Luther 7, Birmingham 6, Kennedy 6, Clinton 6, Philip Randolph 5, Mississippi 5, Chicago 4, Bernice King 4, Carter 4, Bayard Rustin 4, Texas 3, Maryland 3, California 3, Alabama 3, Joshua 3
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